06 Mar Reducing money-making friction with Salesforce CPQ
by Jacob Draper
While there are many reasons why businesses fail, those reasons are all symptoms of the true cause of death: not making money. This might be the most obvious statement of all time, but it should hopefully highlight the necessity of focusing on your selling and buying processes. If it isn’t extremely easy for your salespeople to sell and for your buyers to buy, then you have friction in your cash flow, and friction means lost sales and lost revenue. Addressing that friction should lead you right to your configure, price, and quote process, especially when it comes to collecting that money from your customers. How easy is it for you to set up and send invoices, manage subscription or recurring revenue, collect payments, or properly manage taxes like VAT/sales/use? If the answer is “not very,” then you should make some changes to ensure your business stays healthy. CPQ systems like Salesforce CPQ are set up to make the actual money collecting part of business simple.
Make sales administration easy
Your salesperson’s job is consultative selling—becoming a partner in mutual success with the customer. Through questions and understanding the client’s needs, your salesperson should be able to quickly select the necessary products and configurations to exactly meet those needs. They need to be able to build the perfect configuration with a few simple clicks rather than emailing half the company with questions about what is or isn’t possible. Salesforce CPQ makes that simple with the Product Configurator. In highly fluid sales situations, your company can use Guided Selling, which uses questions to guide salespeople to the proper configurations. Price and Quote ensures that pricing is completely up to date—every time—and will even do real-time forecasting based off of pending deals. Using all of these tools means that your salespeople can spend time connecting with customers rather than wrangling with administration tasks.
Make billing simple for you and your customers
After you’ve made the sale, you need to collect that money with as little friction as possible. We’ve all seen deals delayed or even fall apart due to invoicing or collection issues, even after the paperwork has been signed. You can use Salesforce CPQ to create and send invoices from any device, something which would have seemed impossible five years ago. Further, you can manage complex revenue collection rules like free trials, freemium offers, setup charges, one-off transactions, discounts, refunds, and renewals, all in one place, which means you can meet the customer on whatever terms they feel comfortable with. You can also manage different billing rules like quarterly, monthly, tri-weekly, or really however frequently the client would like to be billed. Again, no friction, no compromises, no reasons for objecting. The path to your success is paved clear.
Understand how you’re making money
Now that you’ve made selling seamless for your salespeople and limited the potential for mistakes, paying you is so easy that no customer could ever possibly complain. You’ve implemented those changes across the organization and you’re seeing the money roll in. Now you need to understand best practices on how to handle the revenue and the types of deals that have been the most effective for your salespeople. Salesforce CPQ, being a Salesforce product, puts an emphasis on dashboards and reporting. You can make custom dashboards to drill into what is most important to you, whether that’s pointing out your customers with the highest spend or discovering what the most successful pricing model is across your Salesforce instance. You can use those insights to apply best practices across your organization so you establish a culture of success.
The line between success and failure can sometimes be paper thin. Any sort of friction leads to lost sales and often lost to your competition. Utilizing a CPQ solution can reduce the friction across the pipeline, and especially around the high-impact decisions like purchasing. Any time there is money on the line you want to know the process will be painless for the customer. And that’s what Salesforce CPQ is all about.